tv CBS Evening News With Katie Couric CBS March 31, 2011 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT
>> tonight, libya's rebels on the rup. the defense secretary says somebody should arm them but not u.s. a top qaddafi insider who defected and his connection to pan am flight 103. i'm erica hill. also tonight, milk in the u.s. now showing traces of radiation from japan. what authorities are doing to keep you safe. why did plants that bury nuclear waste inside nevada's yucca mountain get killed? was it safety fears or politics? and the sweet taste of success. they owe their lottery jackpot to a candy bar. captioning sponsored by cbs
from cbs news world headquarters in new york, this is the "cbs evening news" with katie couric. >> hill: good evening. katie is off tonight. muammar qaddafi's inner circle continues to shrink. first, his foreign minister defected last night. and then today, his u.n. ambassador quit while in egypt. just the same, qaddafi's military, though decimated by allied air strikes, is still pounding rebel forces. driving them further east away from key oil towns. one rebel leader compared qaddafi to a wounded animal, one that's more dangerous than a healthy one, which once again raises the question-- just what should the u.s. do moving forward? david martin begins our coverage. >> reporter: there may be no american troops on the ground, but c.i.a. officers are operating inside libya. among other things, they picked up a member of the air crew of that american jet which crashed last week. their primary goal is to find out who the rebels are and what they need, but defense secretary
gates today threw cold water on the idea that the u.s. is about to start arming or training the rebels. >> there are many countries that can do that. that's not a unique capability for the united states, and as far as i'm concerned, somebody else should do that. >> reporter: but gates clearly thinks somebody, perhaps an arab country, should. >> the opposition needs as much as anything right now is some training, some command and control, and some organization. it's a pretty-- it's pretty much a pickup ballgame at this point. >> reporter: testifying on the day nato took command of the operation, gates said the u.s. would start pulling back its strike aircraft, even though qaddafi's forces seem to have gapd the upper hand. that brought scathing sarcasm from republican john mccain. >> the fact is your timing is exquisite, at a time when the qaddafi forces have literally, tragically routed the anti-qaddafi forces, that's when we announce that the united
states is abdicating its leadership role and removing some of the most valuable assets that could be used to great effect. >> reporter: u.s. forces will remain on alert in case the rebels seem in danger of complete collapse, but over the next few days, unique aircraft, like the ac-130 gunship, and the a-10 ground attack jet, will stop flying missions against qaddafi's forces. >> the idea that the ac-130s and the a-10s and american airpower is grounded unless the place goes to million is just so unnerving i can't express it. >> reporter: the chairman of the joint chiefs blamed the rebel reverses on bad weather which limited air strikes. so far about a quarter of qaddafi's forces have been knocked out of action. >> that doesn't mean that he's about to break from the military standpoint because that's just not the case. >> reporter: gates said as the air attacks continue, libya's military will have to face a choice-- be completely destroyed or decide it's time for qaddafi
to go. erica. >> hill: david martin at the pentagon tonight. david, thanks. the rebels are under attack in their one stronghold in the west misrata, as they claim qaddafi's forces have killed 38 civilians there in the past two days while further east rebels continued their retreat today. mandy clark was with them as they fled brega in disarray. >> reporter: firing at random, and at nothing in particular, the greatest danger at the front is often the rebels themselvess. these men cannot decide who in their force should move forward. so bhoz on the front lines? no one seems to know. then, a rebel spots cars in the distance. his reaction-- attack them, he says. and off they go. it's unclear where the front is until we're upon it. i saw a flash. as we turn around, rebels fire wildly over us. back further, another line of
defense comes under attack. they faced incoming fire and now all the rebels are pulling all the way back out of here. which is the main problem-- anti-qaddafi forces are rarely able to stand their ground under any kind of attack and fire at will in defense, so it's not clear that giving them more arms would ultimately make much difference on the battlefield. mandy clark, cbs news, on the road to brega. >> hill: the white house today said the defection of libyan's foreign minister, moussa koussa, is a significant blow to the qaddafi machine. koussa is now in great britain where authorities want to question him about the bombing of pan am flight 103 and as bob orr tells us, koussa may know plenty. >> reporter: in the 22 years since pan am 10 three exploded in the skies over lockerbie, scotland, u.s. officials have always believed it was the terror handiwork of muammar qaddafi. now the defection of longtime
qaddafi hench man moussa koussa may give prosecutors the hard proof. >> clearly moussa koussa is a person with a lot of blood on his hands over many years. >> reporter: veteran c.i.a. officer vince cannistraro, who investigated the pan am bombing, says koussa helped orchestrate the attack, apparently to avenge the 1986 u.s. bombing of qaddafi's headquarters. >> moussa koussa was personally responsible for the actual organization of it. the orders to do it clearly came from muammar qaddafi himself. >> reporter: koussa, who defected to britain yesterday, is now being questioned by british intelligence about the inside workings of qaddafi's regime and scottish prosecutors have specific questions about lockerbie. >> let me be clear-- moussa koussa is not being granted immunity. there is no deal of that kind. >> reporter: families of the 189 americans who were killed in the bombing also want answers. brian flynn's brother, john patrick, died on pan am 10 three. >> one of the things we've been
saying for 22 years is we want to know the truth. why did it happen? who was behind it? how do you hold these people accountable? >> reporter: in 2009 it was koussa who negotiated the release of the only man ever convict in the lockerbie bombing abdel al-megrahi, was released by scottish authorities on humanitarian grounds after claiming he was dying of prostate cancer. al-megrahi's release drew an angry rebuke from robert mueller. but the u.s. justice department has never closed its lockerbie investigation and now the f.b.i. has a hot new lead. >> moussa koussa is going to be a very authoritative source of information that implicates qaddafi in a lot of events that are prosecutable. >> reporter: now, koussa may ultimately push for some kind of immunity if he's ever to deliver the good on qaddafi, but, frankly, after the outrage over al-megrahi's release, both u.s. and u.k. officials are not in a very charitable move and they
promise to take a very tough line. erica. >> hill: bob, what's the thinking in terms of other focus koussa may be able to deliver to integritiors? >> reporter: well, this is an important guy. he was one of qaddafi's closest aides. he ran intelligence in libya for about 15 years. most recently as you mentioned he was the foreign minister, so he knows about numerous past atrocities and as one person said he know where's all of the wod bodies are buried. also he knows about qaddafi's current state of mine. that's important. he has a read on other top libyan advisors and a good sense of how fragile or how solid qaddafi's inner circle is now. >> hill: that damaged nuclear plant in japan is still leaking radiation tonight. water tested beneath the plant today showed radiation measuring 10,000 times the legal limit. and the levels in sea water have jumped again, now more than 4,000 times what's acceptable. for the first time, elevated radiation levels were found in meat. the meat came from a single cow near the fukushima plant. one vivid example of the fear
all of this is causing, there you see a mother. she had her baby born just four days after the quake and tsunami screened for radiation contamination. in this country, many are also on heightened alert after traces of radioactive iodine were found in milk in california and washington state. the contamination is described as minuscule, posing no threat to the public. john blackstone shows us what's being done to make sure our food is safe. >> reporter: the amount of radioactive iodine measured in milk on the west coast was so small that it did not rise above the normal background level of radiation. still, it's the first evidence that radiation from japan's damaged nuclear plant is making it directly into food produced in america. >> radiation can be a scary word but i think it's important to remember that actually we live surrounded by radiation ever single day. >> reporter: some of our most common food-- potatoes, carrots, bananas-- contain radioactive potassium. the radioactive iodine detected in milk, though, can be more
dangerous because it concentrates in the thyroid. still, the amounts measured are 5,000 times lower than those that can cause health damage, even in growing children. but for many, fear remains, and that can cause its own problems. >> we actually see health damage not from the radiation but from the fear of the radiation, and it's very real. >> reporter: that level of concern is why a los angeles fish market that imports fish from japan is now sending samples to an arizona lab for radiation testing. >> bottom line, we want to make sure that our customers are well informed of what's going on and that the radiation has not affected the fish incoming into the united states. >> reporter: everything imported from japan is already tested for radiation at ports and airports and on hundreds of rooftops across the country, a network of radiation detectors takes constant measurements. >> it's very sensitive and should be very reassuring for the public. >> reporter: although only tiny amount of radiation from japan
have been detected in air and in milk, the fear of radiation is so great, even figures meant to reassure can instead cause alarm. john blackstone, cbs news, san francisco. >> hill: there is good news in the fight against cancer. federal health officials released their annual report on the disease today. cancer diagnoses and deaths are down overall again this year, and for the first time, fewer women are dying of lung cancer. mainly because fewer women are smoking. the study also found improved screening has led to more cancer cases found in children but better treatments mean furg are dying from the disease. cancer did take the life of geraldine ferraro, but coming up you will meade the woman whose american spirit helped her and many others live years longer. and when we come back, it was supposed to store all of america's nuclear waste, so why then is this desert facility now desert? i can't enjoy my own barbecue with these nasal allergies.
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explains, a congressional committee wants to find out why. >> reporter: nuclear waste-- the radioactive gas on the doorstep of many of america's most populous cities. nearly 70,000 tons from 104 reactors often piling up within 50 miles from cities like new york, chicago, and san diego. there was one site designed to hold all of our nation's nuclear waste and it's right here in the high desert of nevada, at a place called yucca mountain. today, the federal government won't let our cameras anywhere near it. it's shut down, locked up, caught up in what critics charge is nothing more than pure politics. gary holis and darrell lacey are key officials in nye county, nevada. theyment the waste at yucca mountain for the jobs and money it would bring. >> the people in this area are all fairly comfortable with yucca mountain. >> reporter: four previous
presidents funded safety reviews of the project but last year the obama administration kept its campaign promise. >> president obama opposes opening yucca. >> reporter: and shut down yucca mountain. now the nuclear regulatory commission must decide if it wants to restart what is already a 25-year, $14 billion project in the face of tough opposition, like that from harry reid, the democratic senate majority leader from nevada. >> if the u.s. government wanted to do yucca mountain, it would have had to shove it down hear reid's throat. >> reporter: a former staffer for senator reed, greg jaczko, now chairs the n.r.c. jaczko recently came under fire after shutting down the agency's safety review of yucca mountain and after key safety recommendations were redacted, cut out, from a long-awaited n.r.c. report. three n.r.c. staffers formally protested the decision to derail the safety review, charging it caused confusion, chaos, and
anguish. today, jaczko told us the safety report was preliminary, a draft, and that he had nothing to do with the redactions. critics charge that you were simply doing the bidding of your former boss, senator harry reid, a fierce opponent of this project. >> it was a difficult decision, and because it is such a controversial program, but, again, it was one that was made in, i believe, the best interest of the agency. >> reporter: the n.r.c. inspector general and congress can r now investigating the decision to shut down the safety review. still, nuclear waste is scattered across 35 states, and yucca mountain sits silent and empty. armen keteyian, cbs news, nye county, nevada. >> hill: two major weather systems are affecting the eastern u.s. tonight. a furious line of storms swept across central florida today. actually flipping planes at the st. petersburg airport. and while that spring storm battered florida, winter proved it is not over yet in the northeast.
making for a wet and chilly opening day at yankee stadium in new york. tomorrow, new england is expecting an april fool's snowstorm. for real. no kidding around. and that lost snake that launched a thousand tweets has been found. the deadly egyptian cobra escaped from its enclosure at new york's bronx zoo last week. the case drew national attention especially after someone posing as a snake on twitter posted imaginary exploits of a cobra out on the town. as it turns out, the unnamed snake never actually left the reptile house. next on the cbs evening news, winning is sweet, especially when it comes with a really big check. [ slap! ] [ slap! slap! slap! slap! slap! ]
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tooth saws the guy who bought the ticket. >> so i reach over, you know, and i started pulling myself out of the line to get the candy bar. this guy jumps in front of me. i'm thinking later on, after all this went down, what if that guy would have won the ticket instead of me? i don't know. ( laughter ) you never know. >> reporter: the albany seven could have easily been the albany eight or nine or even 10. >> there are several other great people that we work with us and some of us got in and some of us didn't. >> reporter: which raises the question-- if you played the lottery every week with a group from work and one week you hit, would you share the wealth with one of the regulars who happened to take that week off? >> you snooze, you lose. >> reporter: what about if you were one of the five? >> i've be mad. >> reporter: call it the price of nice. which not everyone feels obligated to pay. of course, there are those who see sharing as an investment of sorts. >> i would. i believe in karma. >> reporter: but for now, the
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ferraro died on saturday at 75 from a cancer called multiple myeloma. each year more than 20,000 americans are diagnosed with it, but many, like ferraro, now survive much longer, thanks to one woman whose personal crusade against cancer is an example of the american spirit. >> hi, i'm silvi white. >> reporter: when corporate leaders meet kathy giusti, they want to hear the secret to her success in the business of fighting cancer. 15 years ago, kathy was on the fast track in the corporate world and happy at home with her husband and baby daughter, nicole. then a routine test found a blood cancer called multiple myeloma. >> there was absolutely no hope, and i-- i distinctly remember the doctor just holding my hand and looking me in the eye and saying, "kathy, go get your life in order. spend time with your family." >> reporter: doctors gave her only three to four years. but she decided she had to buy
time for her daughter. >> and you think to yourself, i just want her to remember me. i just want her to know that she had a mom. so my entire goal setting out on this journey was just to live long enough that she would remember me. >> reporter: after having another baby, a son, she used her business background to create a start-up, the multiple myeloma research foundation. it's raised more than $160 million since 1998. she got researchers, normally competitive, to share information. >> we try to bring everybody together around one common goal and motivate them. >> reporter: the results have been unheard of in cancer research-- four new drugs approved with another seven in late-stage development. geraldine ferraro was a fellow patient who became a close friend. >> when she announced that she had multiple myeloma, we did it together. we actually announced at a senate hearing together in 2001. and it was one of the most incredible moments of my life.
imagine it's the first time you're going to washington, d.c. to testify, and who is your mentor but geraldine ferraro? >> reporter: did geraldine ferraro benefit from any of the medications you brought to market? >> she was on every drug, all of them sdpp she bought 12 years. think about it. the life span when she was diagnosed was not much more than the three or four that i'd been given. >> reporter: kathy is in remission and doing well and she never forgets her wish made 15 years ago. >> all those years ago, i just kept thinking, if she'll just remember me. if she saw a photo would she just remember me? and, you know, now we're on college visits. >> reporter: and & does she remember you? >> she remembers me. >> reporter: a promise to a daughter that's helped so many others. dr. jon lapook, cbs news, connecticut. >> hill: that is the cbs evening news. for katie couric, i'm erica hill. thanks for watching. i'll see you tomorrow morning on
the "early show" and back here tomorrow night this is 9news now. good evening. tonight in your only local news at 7:00 p.m. testing the test. dc public schools now trying to face down charges that some improving test scores were not on the up and up. turned out that murdered pizza delivery man was actually killed for his cargo. and mystery solved. police say they have got their man in a murder that sent fear rippling through college park. "this broadcast realtime captioned by becky lyon." i'm scott broom in college park where today police announced they made two arrests in a murder that shocked students at the university of maryland. 22-year-old stephane weaver from bowie, former student at the university of west virginia and a local high school s